The main benefits to having a mailing list are all too clear: you need to be able to create a list of subscribers, people who have perhaps visited your site at some point in the past, and market any promotional offers, products or services to these people.
The greatest benefit to using email campaigns over traditional forms of marketing is the opportunity to target people who have expressed some form of intent to find out more information about your particular business.
In signing up to your list they have declared that they would like to receive further communications and now is the time to try and target these users in your campaign.
One of the first things you need to look for in any email marketing software is the opportunity to automate the building and storing aspect of list generation.
Most suppliers will charge based on the number of subscribers on your list and this cost can easily spiral out of control as your list grows.
The second thing you should look for in an email marketing software provider is the opportunity to send schedule autoresponders.
Autoresponders are essentially customised mailings to your subscribers that are delivered automatically whenever a desired event occurs.
For example, you can schedule a customised autoresponder to send a welcome e-mail out to all of your new subscribers as soon as they sign up to your list.
This will have the desired effect of striking while the iron is hot.